Copyright Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA

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Tobacco Bag

Tobacco was, and is, one of the most powerful Native plants used in social, religious, and political settings. Native American men tended several varieties of indigenous tobacco which was mixed with other plants like bearberry and lobelia for smoking. They commonly carried it in personal decorated pouches like this red, blue and brown painted leather example with netted quillwork. The Reverend Stephen Williams received this tobacco pouch from his brother-in-law Arosen, the Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) man who married Stephen's sister Eunice. Both Stephen and Eunice were taken captive during the 1704 raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts. Although Eunice and Arosen lived in Kahnawake, a Kanienkehaka community on the Saint Lawrence River, this pouch relates to others made in the Great Lakes region and may have been acquired there.

Date: circa 1725 
Topic: Personal 
Materials: Leather, paint, quills
Dimensions: L: 15.25 in.(38.7 cm.), W: 6.25 in. (15.8 cm.) 
Accession #: 1998.02.500.02

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